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Controlling direction in the flare

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Controlling direction in the flare

Old 18th Jul 2012, 23:41
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 2,517
Hi gallwood, I seldom post here anymore, however your question and the answers you have received have prompted me to see if I can help you with your problems when landing.

I'm about three weeks in to circuits on my PPL. The last but one lesson I was making good approaches and some half decent landings. However, my last lesson was terrible. The approach seemed to go ok, but then at the last minute, during the flare, I would drift way off to the left. It was so frustrating .
I know of no reason that a stabilized approach and flare for the landing would suddenly cause the airplane to drift off to the left during the flare due to the very short time period involved in the change of attitude to transit from the approach profile to the level profile in relation to the ground...unless you are for some reason moving one or more of the flight control surfaces inadvertently.

( The flare )

The flare is very short........(1) approach path.....(2) the flare.....(3) the hold off period.

In which case your instructor should be aware of what you are doing and explain what you are doing wrong and correct it.

How much time was spent teaching you attitudes and movements during your first flying lessons?

Therein may possibly be the reason you are having problems with controlling the airplane......you did not really understand the attitudes and movements portion of the flight training......the basics.

Having owned a flight school and seen some of the products the flight training industry is turning out called flight instructors makes me rather depressed at times......a lot of the flight instructors do not understand attitudes and movements either.


I am not suggesting your instructor is to blame....I am only trying to help you get past this problem.

Last edited by Chuck Ellsworth; 18th Jul 2012 at 23:58.
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Old 19th Jul 2012, 00:27
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 1,156
I guess with my post I was looking for the magic formula, but as B2N2 said, almost all people struggle with this one initially. I don't know if its normal but I think I tend to be cautious of using aileron so close to the ground - I'm sure I will get over it.
Like you say yourself, I have noticed students that are a bit cautious of using aileron after starting the flare. If you need to put in 2-3 deg angle of bank to stay over the center, so be it. If that means one wheel will touch down slightly before the other, so be it as well.

Apart from correct use of rudder, looking towards the far end, as others have pointed out, also make sure the yoke is level once you start the flare. I had one guy once that always went left during the flare. I realized after a while that when he started to pull back during the flare he unconsciously put some left aileron in.
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Old 19th Jul 2012, 00:44
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 2,517
A word of caution regarding looking at the far end.......looking to far forward is almost as bad as looking to close in.

As to bank angle in the flare two issues will limit the angle of bank you can use.

(1) The angle of bank where rudder will no longer control yaw.

(2) The angle of bank that causes the wing to contact the ground.

Last edited by Chuck Ellsworth; 19th Jul 2012 at 00:46.
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Old 19th Jul 2012, 15:00
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,976
Take a look at this Pa28

Now visualize how much bank you need prior to a wingtip touching the ground. Draw a line from one of the main wheels to a wing tip.
Mind you, it's not impossible if you try hard enough but by that time you are already halfway through a crash.
It is perfectly safe to use bank close to the ground.
bank controls lateral (left to right) drift and "toes do the nose" as in rudder controls where the nose is pointing which is not necessarily the direction the plane is going.
You use rudder to keep the nose down the runway and aileron to keep the aircraft from drifting away from the centerline.
You have some real good advise in the above posts.
Keep practicing....

Here is something to make you feel better, every single pilot in this clip started with a PPL and struggled with landings.....

Last edited by B2N2; 19th Jul 2012 at 15:27.
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